CONYERS — The Conyers Police Department has charged Dexter Shepherd, 52, of Conyers with murder following an investigation into the suspicious death of his girlfriend, Katherine Smith.

According to police, Shepherd transported Smith to Piedmont Rockdale Hospital on Friday night, telling medical staff that he discovered her unconscious in the bedroom of his home. Smith, 52, was pronounced dead at Piedmont Rockdale Hospital at about 1 a.m. Saturday, but the cause of death remained unknown.

Shepherd described his relationship with Smith, identifying her as his girlfriend. Nurses at the hospital and investigators with the Rockdale County Coroner’s office recognized that Shepherd was telling at least two variations of the story about Smith’s condition leading up to the medical emergency and contacted the Conyers Police Department to investigate further.

Detectives interviewed Shepherd and executed a search warrant at his home on Rockbridge Road to better understand what caused Smith’s death. Based on their investigation, officials believe that Shepherd strangled Smith using a choke hold type restraint while the two were involved in an argument. Shepherd allegedly tried to revive Smith by CPR but the action was ineffective. Police said Shepherd then did not call 911 to request an ambulance or police services but instead drove Smith directly to the hospital.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.